Religion is one of the means used by people to dominate society. Further, religions can be used to dominate countries.
This may sound rubbish, but if you go into details of most religions, they have been misused in the past and are being even now.
But we will see those details in the article about problems with religion and how religion affects culture in positive and negative ways.
- Change in food habits
- Alter the dressing trends.
- Affects the thinking process.
- Interferes in politics
- Destruction of native culture.
- Negligence of the arts.
- People live responsibly
- Minimizes violence and malpractices
- Promotes family and human growth and development
- Gives a structure to the lifestyle
- Helps a person think beyond worldly existence.
Negative Effects of Religion on Society
Change in food habits
People have different food preferences based on the region, climate, and also culture. For example, native Americans relied on local harvests like corn, beans, squash, etc., before the arrival of Europeans, who largely relied on cattle like sheep, goats, pigs, etc. You may say it was not religious, but the expeditions (colonization) by Europeans to other countries were due to church approvals.
Similarly, people in India had varied vegetarian food preferences, mostly rice in south India and wheat in northern India.
This is because wheat provides more heat than rice and is hence preferred in hot regions like the south.
While people of the north prefer wheat as they experience cold temperatures.
Further, based on their Hindu culture and the availability of huge land for agriculture, they are vegetarians.
But the invasions by the British and Mughals, who brought with them Christianity and Islam, changed the food habits.
Since these two religions come from foreign lands, they have brought with them foreign food habits.
The food habits are linked directly to festival celebrations too.
Hence, in none of the Hindu or Buddhist cultural festivals, you do not find a non-veg diet. But, in others, you will discover non-vegetarian food as a regular ingredient.
It is not a problem in a general sense. But, these societies have a massive population, and vegetative food is less harsh on the environment.
On the other hand, if such an enormous population opts for a non-vegetarian diet, it can have a deleterious effect on the environment.
Alter the dressing trends.
Dressing trends change with development and also due to migrations and travel. But most of the dress habits are based on the climate in the region.
Warm climates require light cotton clothing, while cold regions require warm dressings.
But, religions bring in dress changes like wearing a fully covered dress for women or a sari for Hindu women.
Both seem to cover the women and avoid unwanted attention. But when people convert to other religions, they tend to change.
These dress changes over will affect social compatibility and lead to conflicts.
If someone opts for a job or sports, they find difficulties with the dress code.
It affects the thinking process.
So based on the above two points, by now, you can assume there will also be issues with how people see others. People born and brought up in the same place tend to have conflicts. People of one religion would not be able to socialize well with other religions. They may even see them with suspicion.
They may even want to bring their religion into education, the workplace, etc.
Besides, some cultures have a thought process that money is not everything. They even teach people to mend their will and mind for the benefit of society.
Now you can notice that except in some Buddhist and Hindu cultures, most of them believe in the idea that “Money is everything in life.”
Interferes in politics
Religion interferes in politics. Politicians try to use the religious card for political gains. Since their politicians cannot live without power, they try to do all sorts of damage using religion to get votes.
Politicians even go to the extent of granting asylum in their countries for votes. Since these migrants are from a certain religion, they tend to target them for votes.
Destruction of native culture
This is the end goal of most religious conversions. Some religions have conversion missionaries to convert people of other religions to theirs. They do it with money and other means to attract people. Doing so would destroy the native culture of that country or state when the whole population of the native religion disappears.
Negligence of arts.
Few cultures have some arts as a part of their lifestyle. For example, in Hinduism, astrology plays a significant role in life. People ask for an astrological suggestion for the birth name, education, marriage, etc. This astrology is an exciting art; to some extent, you will feel it has a scientific basis. But when other religions come in, they tend to discard this belief in astrology.
Besides them, arts like yoga and meditation are not acceptable to some religions. While the same is part of Hindu culture.
Positive Effects of Religion on Society
People live responsibly
Religion is one that imparts culture to most societies. This helps them live within a set of rules, unlike the animals. People tend to follow the rules for marriage, work, business, death rituals, and other aspects of life. This leads to systematic behavior by all the people in the society. They follow the same culture and pass it on to their children, who carry those values and practices forward.
Since most religions impart positive cultural habits, people live with great responsibility even without the stringent application of the laws of the land.
Minimizes violence and malpractices
Most religions impart the teaching of peace and harmony. So people of following religion and culture will adopt it in their social life, which minimizes the chances of violence.
Promotes family and human growth and development
Most religions mention the rules and values of family and marriage. Since religious proceedings conduct marriages, there is a sense of responsibility toward marriage among the couple. So, in times of problems, they tend to take the help of god and overcome them. This even minimizes the chances of divorce.
Gives a structure to the lifestyle
Culture is one where people have certain customs and traditions. And most of them a prescribed by religions. As per them, one has to bathe daily, complete his chores, go to the place of worship, etc. These regular habits bring a structure to lifestyle and keep people active and motivated.
It helps a person think beyond worldly existence.
Unlike animals, humans have the ability to think. And many believe that there is some power that runs the world. The presence of religion will help them think of god and put effort into eternal salvation.
Frequently asked questions and answers.
Is religion the root of all evil?
No greed is the root of all evil. And so people behind the religion cause problems to satisfy greed.
Is veganism a religion?
Veganism is practiced as a part of some religions that believe in non-violence and universal welfare.
Was religion created to control the masses?
Not all, but some religions seem to be created by their creators in order to control the masses.
What are the effects of globalization on religion?
Globalization helped people to understand the types of religions as well as the limitations of religions.